State Sen. Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, says as an agricultural product, its time has come
By ROBYN L. MINOR, The Daily News
One area lawmaker believes the state is ready to approve growing hemp as an agricultural product.
State Sen. Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, said Congress also must be on board after outlawing the production of the crop decades ago.
"But for once, I'd like to see Kentucky proactive rather than reactive," he said. "That way, once they release it, we would be ready to go."
Hemp is already widely used in the manufacturing of clothing, cosmetics and even the auto industry.
"Most of what we use or sell here is grown in Canada," Pendleton said. "Eighty-five percent of what Canada produces comes to us."
Pendleton is headed to Washington, D.C., today to talk to congressional leaders about the need to produce hemp and to get a White House briefing on the Farm Bill.
This is the second time Pendleton has made an earnest attempt to allow the production of agricultural hemp. This time he has the support of Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, he said.
"So I'm hoping that's going to help me on the other side of the aisle," Pendleton said. "I want to try to at least get a hearing and get it moving."
Comer's office said he would be interested in discussing the issue, but he couldn't be reached by press time today.